There are many of you who have read this tonight who share one of the illnesses I have, and some have different illnesses-but we are all the same. No matter the illness, there is one commonality- the daily struggle we all feel to make it through the consistent physical and emotional pain it brings.
I originally started writing these journals when I was awake in the middle of the night in extreme pain. It was a way for me to vent, and somehow I hoped that while I cried those tears, and felt my stiff sore fingers hit the keys, someone, somewhere out there could hear me. You heard me. And I want you to know something-I hear you.
I know what it’s like to feel alone in a crowded room. I know what its like to walk in to a room and see people smiling and casually talking and what extreme energy it takes to pull out of yourself the ability to act “normal” just to be a part of their world. I’ve cried myself to sleep at night thinking of my “old life” asking myself “what did I do wrong?” There are days I will smell a familiar smell-something as simple as a soap I used right when I became ill, and I feel the crushing feeling in my chest of the depths of despair of that time in my life. I feel my heart tearing into pieces as I think to myself all of the things I should have done, the words I would have said to my friends before they slipped away from me, the foods I would have eaten and enjoyed, and the trips I might have taken. I have cursed God and praised God all in the same night-begging him for an answer and asking Him why this is happening. I have felt the highest of hopes on those days when I am going to see a new Dr., hoping this would be the one to help me; and the lowest of lows when they give me the same answers. I want to scream HELP ME HELP ME there must be something you can do! Don’t you understand all that I have lost?
But let me tell you what I’ve gained. If I never got here-if I never felt this pain, if I never had this illness, I would not have seen the amazingly beautiful, messy struggle that it is to be someone with a chronic illness. The people I have met and spoken with who live with these illnesses day to day are some of the most deep, compassionate, kind, admirable people I have ever known, and have restored my faith in the world. I don’t know why we are ill. I do not know why it is us. I do not know why you-YOU-the beautiful soul who is reading this feels this kind of pain, but I want to tell you that you are an amazing piece of what makes this world beautiful. YOU and the way you see the world, even on your darkest day, is in a different lens from the “normal” person, and that is something we share.
So, wherever you are tonight, brave soul-I want you to know that you are not alone. Tonight when you lay your head on your pillow, please know that if you are reading this, YOU are the reason I am waking up smiling tomorrow. Your strength gives me strength. And together, the hope we share for each other is so much stronger than any of our diseases.
I don't have answers. But I do hope we can find them together. Maybe there is a reason for all of this. Maybe I will make a reason.
And a special note..to my beautiful little Aussie spirit-you are the beauty you have been wanting to see in your own world. The light of your spirit is one of the brightest I have ever seen. Your kind words and strength echo in my head during the hardest of days. You are my perfect friend.